Pilots and Alcohol

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Gino Under
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Pilots and Alcohol

#1 Post by Gino Under » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:00 am

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/art ... rport.html

It takes more than suspicion to convict.

Recent update...

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/ai ... li=AAggNb9

It sounds like a breathalyzer was administered.
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Last edited by Gino Under on Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#2 Post by Redwine » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:52 am

I understand being an airline pilot can be very stressful at times. But drinking to the extent that behavior becomes an issue the day of flight is inexcusable and illegal. I would almost bet this was not the first time these two jokers did this. Only this time, they got caught. It is a shame and am glad they were arrested. Their decision making is not worthy of the stripes they wear on their shoulders.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#3 Post by SuperchargedRS » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:39 am

Did the police have them blow or take a blood sample?
I'd think if they did it would have been mentioned in the story.


If not, and if they wernt drunk, I'd hope they sue for as much as they can, because that's some major career damage.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#4 Post by valleyboy » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:05 am

ALPA is likely scrambling to figure out how to defend these guys but the trend over the past few years is to have 12 hours in the COM of most companies. Regardless what happens these 2 guys will be kicking stones, especially if they were in contradiction of the COM and to be turned in by your own crew members, DAMN, it must of been a sh1t show.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#5 Post by Mooney21 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:09 am

SuperchargedRS wrote:Did the police have them blow or take a blood sample?
I'd think if they did it would have been mentioned in the story.


If not, and if they wernt drunk, I'd hope they sue for as much as they can, because that's some major career damage.
The article says they will appear in court. So the police have the evidence to lay charges.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#6 Post by yycflyguy » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:16 am

Does everyone realize the stringent alcohol rules in the UK? If you have two or three drinks 13 hours before flight there is a very good chance you will be over the 20mg of alcohol/100ml limit. That is four times more stringent than operating a vehicle. Not condoning their actions but many are insinuating that they pounded a few drinks right before work.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#7 Post by Old fella » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:28 am

yycflyguy wrote:Does everyone realize the stringent alcohol rules in the UK? If you have two or three drinks 13 hours before flight there is a very good chance you will be over the 20mg of alcohol/100ml limit. That is four times more stringent than operating a vehicle. Not condoning their actions but many are insinuating that they pounded a few drinks right before work.
Certainly an element of truth in that, I would assume they would consult qualified lawyers for legal assistance.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#8 Post by cdnpilot77 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:49 am

yycflyguy wrote:Does everyone realize the stringent alcohol rules in the UK? If you have two or three drinks 13 hours before flight there is a very good chance you will be over the 20mg of alcohol/100ml limit. That is four times more stringent than operating a vehicle. Not condoning their actions but many are insinuating that they pounded a few drinks right before work.

Do they have not still have the obligation to report fit for duty regardless of how stringent the local law is?
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#9 Post by jpilot77 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:04 am

The story says the cabin crew tipped off the police. Which makes me think that this wasn't 2 beers with dinner 14 hours before report time.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#10 Post by garfield » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:53 am

Well if they were acting odd I'm sure they weren't just hangover.

95% of pilots I know are heavy drinkers, but they drink when they're OFF for the next 24 hours at least.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#11 Post by Gino Under » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:26 pm

I'm pretty sure this offence, whether they're convicted or not, is gonna leave a mark. Probably on both pilots and their careers. Unfortunately.
Let's start with the airline's reputation and go from there. Ouch!
Management ISN'T going to be happy about the publicity this will likely generate.
If the sight of pilots acting strange before a flight is a tip off, many of us are in trouble.
Long haul has its' affects on the individual and whether or not you get sufficient rest, especially less than 8 hours, can often leave you groggy or simply punch drunk silly from fatigue.
In this case however, it sounds like the Fu*kup Fairy may have waved her wand at a most inappropriate time.

There, but for the grace of God and an incredible amount of shi*house luck, go many of us.

Gino :partyman:
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#12 Post by AuxBatOn » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:09 pm

Gino Under wrote: In this case however, it sounds like the Fu*kup Fairy may have waved her wand at a most inappropriate time.
I am glad they got caught before they killed people. Such behaviour does not merit the privilege of holding any pilot license, nevermind an ATPL. Talk about decision making...
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#13 Post by yycflyguy » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:57 pm

cdnpilot77 wrote:
yycflyguy wrote:Does everyone realize the stringent alcohol rules in the UK? If you have two or three drinks 13 hours before flight there is a very good chance you will be over the 20mg of alcohol/100ml limit. That is four times more stringent than operating a vehicle. Not condoning their actions but many are insinuating that they pounded a few drinks right before work.

Do they have not still have the obligation to report fit for duty regardless of how stringent the local law is?
Yes they do.

There is no information out there that they were "Blotto" like the papers reported. In the UK, even if you blow over on the breathalyzer, charges cannot be made until a blood sample has been pulled (hours later), sent to a lab and analyzed. Results won't be known for a couple of weeks. So until then, I will give them the benefit of the doubt.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#14 Post by yycflyguy » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:02 pm

garfield wrote:Well if they were acting odd I'm sure they weren't just hangover.

95% of pilots I know are heavy drinkers, but they drink when they're OFF for the next 24 hours at least.
Ever had a wicked hangover? Odds are after 24 hours you would still be over the limit in the UK.
AuxBatOn wrote:
Gino Under wrote: In this case however, it sounds like the Fu*kup Fairy may have waved her wand at a most inappropriate time.
I am glad they got caught before they killed people. Such behaviour does not merit the privilege of holding any pilot license, nevermind an ATPL. Talk about decision making...
Again, not justifying the situation but guys are coming off as judge, jury and executioner before charges have even been laid.

You guys have heard of false positives, right?
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#15 Post by yycflyguy » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:05 pm

Old fella wrote:
yycflyguy wrote:Does everyone realize the stringent alcohol rules in the UK? If you have two or three drinks 13 hours before flight there is a very good chance you will be over the 20mg of alcohol/100ml limit. That is four times more stringent than operating a vehicle. Not condoning their actions but many are insinuating that they pounded a few drinks right before work.
Certainly an element of truth in that, I would assume they would consult qualified lawyers for legal assistance.
My understanding is that ALPA has already provided legal representation. They will probably be allowed to return home until the lab results are known.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#16 Post by AuxBatOn » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:31 pm

yycflyguy wrote: Again, not justifying the situation but guys are coming off as judge, jury and executioner before charges have even been laid.
If some of your co-workers and peers (not some random joe at the airport) came forward and said something is wrong, I would suspect it would take something fairly serious. Oh, they have been charged.

2 false positives (one on the breathalizer and one with the bloodwork) on 2 different people? Ya right. Your freedom stops where it encroaches on mine. I am all for being considered innocent until proven guilty, but sometimes, circumstances strongly suggest wrongdoing.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#17 Post by AuxBatOn » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:31 pm

yycflyguy wrote: Again, not justifying the situation but guys are coming off as judge, jury and executioner before charges have even been laid.
If some of your co-workers and peers (not some random joe at the airport) came forward and said something is wrong, I would suspect it would take something fairly serious. Oh, they have been charged.

2 false positives (one on the breathalizer and one with the bloodwork) on 2 different people? Ya right. Your freedom stops where it encroaches on mine. I am all for being considered innocent until proven guilty, but sometimes, circumstances strongly suggest wrongdoing. If it looks like a duck, walk like a duck and quawk like a duck....
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#18 Post by yycflyguy » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:57 pm

I guess you didn't read the part where the bloodworm samples have to go to a lab. That result is admissible. I just read that they are being detained on the "threatening or abusive behaviour" charge. So they will be held until the lab results come back.

What if it comes back that the blood levels were high enough to trip the breathalyzer 0.009% but not enough to satisfy the court 0.04%, are they still a duck?
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#19 Post by AuxBatOn » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:05 pm

yycflyguy wrote:I guess you didn't read the part where the bloodworm samples have to go to a lab. That result is admissible. I just read that they are being detained on the "threatening or abusive behaviour" charge. So they will be held until the lab results come back.

What if it comes back that the blood levels were high enough to trip the breathalyzer 0.009% but not enough to satisfy the court 0.04%, are they still a duck?
People, from their own crew, judged they were acting oddly and weren't fit to fly, to the point they called law enforcement. Yes, they would still look like ducks. Impairement is far more than a number. If you can't tone down the booze when you are working, especially when people's lives at ar stake, you shouldn't be doing that job.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#20 Post by yycflyguy » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:30 pm

AuxBatOn wrote: Impairement is far more than a number.
That's exactly my point.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#21 Post by Nark » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:10 am

yycflyguy wrote:
cdnpilot77 wrote:
yycflyguy wrote:Does everyone realize the stringent alcohol rules in the UK? If you have two or three drinks 13 hours before flight there is a very good chance you will be over the 20mg of alcohol/100ml limit. That is four times more stringent than operating a vehicle. Not condoning their actions but many are insinuating that they pounded a few drinks right before work.

Do they have not still have the obligation to report fit for duty regardless of how stringent the local law is?
Yes they do.

There is no information out there that they were "Blotto" like the papers reported. In the UK, even if you blow over on the breathalyzer, charges cannot be made until a blood sample has been pulled (hours later), sent to a lab and analyzed. Results won't be known for a couple of weeks. So until then, I will give them the benefit of the doubt.
No it doesn't. It takes about 2 minutes to run through an analyzer. Protocol here is, once pulled over (off a flight) their must be enough probable cause to warrant arrest. Failing field sobriety is plenty PC.
Once at the station they must be observed for 20 minutes not vomit or given food/water. They blow into an analyzer which, I'm told 99.9% corresponds with the BAC tester they use in the field. You can't fool this device by coughing, or slow exhale.
It is admissible in court.

Our technology and the U.K. Are probably very very similar.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#22 Post by TheStig » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:07 am

yycflyguy wrote: There is no information out there that they were "Blotto" like the papers reported. In the UK, even if you blow over on the breathalyzer, charges cannot be made until a blood sample has been pulled (hours later), sent to a lab and analyzed. Results won't be known for a couple of weeks. So until then, I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

Nark, the breathalyzer technology is probably similar but the bloodtest procedure yycflyguy has quoted is how these matters proceed in the U.K.

I'm also going to give them the benefit of the doubt simply based on how frequently instances arise where supposedly 'drunk' pilots are pulled off of flights only for testing to later show they weren't inebriated. Unfortunately being cleared doesn't make for sensational news and garner loads of reader comments...

I wouldn't for a moment give any weight to the notion that fellow crew members were alerted by their behavior, people are pretty quick at making false assumptions.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#23 Post by Nark » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:31 am

The Girlfriend, who's a Med Technologist, says a blood test can take from the quickest: 30 minutes to slowest 1 hour.
Again, that's assuming they use similar machines. The notion that it takes weeks is bullshit.

However, an interesting fact you alcoholics should know, is that a certain enzyme in alcohol will stay in your fat cells for months. This test is only used on (against) people who are prohibited from consuming alcohol. HIMS patient, parolee on conditions of release etc...

I'm not sure you can certainly say at this time that person was intoxicated, it's just a neat factoid.
Alcohol doesn't break down completely in an hour after 1 beer/ spirit/ glass of wine yadda yadda.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#24 Post by pelmet » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:51 am

I have an idea that is going to make half the people here roll their eyes. It is based on my reasonably long experience of seeing a large number of people want to go drinking after a flight or at a party or at a bar. You here statements like "just one drink, that's all", or people talk about how amazing this or that beer is as if it is the most important thing in life. They think they are funny when they say "BEEEER". I guess it is as some others laugh.

In fact just two days ago I was looking for a pilot from another crew on a layover on New York and decided to check the bar(also a very good restaurant) and there he was halfway through a bottle of wine. I talked with him for a few hours and he finished off the bottle while mentioning that he never smokes or drinks around his wife. I just had water and a meal.

And of course there is the endless jugs of beer that I have seen with people seeming to think they are cool by filling up your tall near empty glass full again when people were talking about going to bed soon(I used to sip my separate type of drink slowly and it didn't get filled up by others because it was a different drink). Of course there was the laughter about how hungover they were after some particular bender in the past as if feeling like crap is funny.

In fact I have gotten drunk a full two times this year with other crewmembers but I admit I was only drinking to be part of the crew. I know...I shouldn't have I guess.

Then there are the alcoholics who for some reason can't not drink. Our company takes a tough line on the subject. One guy, now retired apparently had his own breathalyzer so he could call in sick if he couldn't pass the test. I guess it meant that he was legal though.

But anyways, my idea is.....How about we just drink orange juice, or lemonade, or water instead of spending the money on booze. Drinking large amounts of booze has to be one of the stupidest things people do. Exactly what is the point. Can you not have fun drinking something non-alcoholic for the evening or one or two drinks slowly if you do particularly like the taste. Is it because you think you are cool by pouring large amounts of beer. Is it really that funny that someone was feeling sick. Think about it for a minute. This stuff is unhealthy and makes you feel weird and maybe sick, kills thousands per year in road accidents and long term illnesses and you are spending your money to do it.

I guess I am a square but personally, I think it is a really stupid part of out culture. In fact, I have a theory. My theory is that in reality(with very occasional exception), virtually everyone actually doesn't particularly like drinking. But they are under the impression that most people do like it. So, in order to be part of the group, they all pretend to like it and you have all these people drinking, pretending to be enjoying it when in fact, no one is. But no one will be the first to admit it. So, I am standing up as the first one to state that I would rather not have any booze because I don't particularly like the overall effects. Who wants to have a lemonade party(Mike's Hard version not allowed). Orange juice, water, and grape kneehighs are welcome too.

Have been on a couple of interesting factory tours though at a beer place and a distillery.
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Re: Pilots and Alcohol

#25 Post by North Shore » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:50 pm

Not that I'm condoning what is alleged to have happened, and perhaps I'm not au fait with airline procedures, but a few thoughts, and queries...
Do airlines have a written procedure/policy in place if an impairment is suspected in a crew member?
I work in a small outfit, and I'd like to think that if I, or any of my coworkers, showed up 'unfit' one morning, the first approach would be along the lines of "I'm smelling alcohol/you're acting drunk [etc..] are you sure you want to show up, and not book off sick today?" - followed by a 'don't let this happen again' chat.. But that goes back to #1 above - a written policy that might leave crew members no choice but to drop a dime.
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